Darrell Walker of Arkansas didn't live up to his surname, but the junior point guard did live up to his reputation. When Michigan pared a Razorback lead to 55-52, Walker scored six points in 26 seconds. After canning two foul shots, Walker put his whippetlike speed and leaping ability to use by stealing the ball, dunking it and then teaming with Brad Friess on another theft, which he again slammed home. With the Hogs dominating the inside, Walker pumping in 25 points and Scott Hastings adding 24 more, the Wolverines succumbed 83-72.
At Wichita State three freshmen excelled as the Shockers trounced Abilene Christian 93-55. Guard Aubrey Sherrod sank seven of nine field-goal attempts and had seven assists; Greg Dreiling, the 7'1" center, had 10 points and six rebounds in 14 minutes; and Forward Xavier McDaniel hit on all his shots—six from the field and two from the foul line—grabbed five rebounds and made three steals in 17 minutes. The stats on the returning bookend forwards, Antoine Carr and Cliff Levingston, made for good reading, too: Carr had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Levingston 14 points and seven rebounds.
Tulsa and Kansas State tuned up with easy victories. The Golden Hurricane beat U.S. International 89-62, while the Wildcats coasted past Northern Iowa 86-50.
Two coaches—Indiana's Bobby Knight (page 40) and Joe B. Hall of Kentucky—were far from pleased with opening-day victories. During a 71-64 win over Miami of Ohio, Knight got 24 points from Ted Kitchel, one of only two starters back from last season's national champions, and eight points and two blocked shots in 18 minutes from 7'2" freshman Uwe Blab. But Knight was dismayed by the way his Hoosiers frittered away leads against the Redskins, who trailed by only three with 17 seconds to go.
Hall gave his troops a chalk talk after they had beaten stubborn Akron 83-64. "I explained so many things I ran out of chalk," Hall said. Fortunately for Hall, he didn't run out of guards. After two Wildcat backcourt-men went to the bench—Jim Master with a hyperextended right elbow and Dirk Minniefield with foul trouble—Bo Lanter provided Kentucky with much-needed direction. Lanter, who went to Lexington without a scholarship, got eight points, four assists and a steal in the second half. Kentucky broke the game open in the final five minutes by out-scoring the Zips 16-9. Forward Derrick Hord, who got 12 of those 16 points, had 28 for the game.
In the week leading up to the season opener, South Florida Coach Lee Rose had his players wear T shirts that read: "65-63." That was the score by which Florida A&M had shocked the Bulls in Rose's first game at the helm of South Florida last season. Last week the biggest shock of the rematch was suffered by Maria Moon, who gamely belted out America the Beautiful while the South Florida band played the national anthem. But everything came up Rose in the game as the Bulls trampled the Rattlers 75-60. Second-half spurts marked victories by Alabama and Alabama-Birmingham. The Tide, which led New Hampshire 41-35 at halftime, took off from there and rolled to a 99-65 victory. Pitt trailed UAB by only four, 36-32, but was blown out in the final 20 minutes and wound up losing 78-62.
"I'm slow. If I ran the 100, they would have to have a calendar to time me," said Point Guard Kevin Stallings, a Purdue senior who averaged only 3.8 points a game last season. But in the 1981 opener against Tennessee he sank eight of nine field-goal tries, scored 18 points and had seven assists. That, plus 36 points from Keith Edmonson, was enough for an 82-68 win over the Vols. It was Tennessee's first defeat in a season opener since 1965.
Freshman Guard Tod Berkenpas put in eight of nine floor shots to carry Iowa past Northern Illinois 84-66. Notre Dame's 6'8" Cecil Rucker, who scored only 30 points as a freshman, got his sophomore year off to a rousing start with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Irish drubbed St. Joseph's (Ind.) 82-52. High-scoring Western Carolina swamped Methodist 103-69 and Averett 104-51.
With 10 seconds left, Walker D. Russell's 18-foot field goal made Western Michigan a 68-67 winner over Boise State in the first round of the Spartan Cutlass Classic at Michigan State. In the title game, Russell scored 23 points and dished out 10 assists as the Broncos defeated the Spartans for the first time in five years, 83-79.
Zones. Top-ranked North Carolina will likely see lots of them this season. Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith isn't overly concerned, however. "There's a lot of good shooting out there," he said after Carolina overtook Kansas for a 74-67 win. All five Tar Heel starters shot 50% or better and Carolina outrebounded the Jayhawks 31-22. Kansas led 47-43 with 16:05 left, but then suffered a 3½-minute scoreless drought and fell behind 55-47. Tarheels who gave the Jay-hawks the most trouble were Forward James Worthy (23 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block) and Center Sam Perkins (16 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots).
Fairfield outscored Virginia 29-10 late in their first-round game at the Virginia Tipoff Tournament. Big news? Hardly. The Cavaliers had already tucked the game away and the Stag surge merely tightened up the final score a bit, to 107-66. Virginia swept past George Mason 76-57 in the title matchup. Ralph Sampson of the Cavaliers grabbed 16 rebounds, but a jammed finger on his shooting hand kept him to a career low of only eight points.
Clemson took its IPTAY Tournament by beating Bowling Green 109-91 and Stetson 79-72. The Hatters had surprised Ball State 63-47 in their first game. Wake Forest was also upset, losing 64-61 at Richmond as Tom Bethea scored 17 points. Villanova beat Monmouth 96-48. St. John's won its Joe Lapchick Memorial event for the seventh year in a row, toppling Fordham 91-71 in the showdown for the championship.
In 1952, John Wooden was a 42-year-old coach who hadn't yet brought UCLA basketball into prominence. It was, therefore, no big deal when the Bruins lost their first home game. Last week, Larry Farmer, UCLA's latest coach, started off with a 79-75 at-home loss to Brigham Young, but this time it was more than just another home-opener defeat: it was the Bruins' first such setback since 1952. Farmer, who used to play for Wooden, was done in by Cougar Coach Frank Arnold, a onetime Wooden assistant.
"We gave them seven different looks to try to keep them off balance," said Arnold of the variety of zones and an occasional man-to-man defense he used to counteract UCLA's quickness. BYU shot 61.1% and got the most out of its front line of Fred Roberts, Steve Trumbo and Greg Kite. Roberts netted 10 of 12 shots, scored 23 points and pulled down six rebounds. Trumbo had 22 points and Kite 12, and each had seven rebounds. Both teams won the following day, the Cougars breezing 81-66 at Fullerton State while the Bruins labored past Pepperdine 76-69.
In Las Vegas, where there's a preoccupation with numbers, Nevada-Las Vegas came up with two big 83s. That was how many points the Rebels scored in both their victories—83-70 over Western New Mexico and 83-79 over Louisiana State in overtime. LSU missed 15 of 28 free throws, but Tiger Forward Howard Carter sank a pair with one second left in regulation time for a 75-75 tie. Sophomore Guard Danny Tarkanian, whose father, Jerry, coaches UNLV, popped in a jumper early in the extra period and passed off for two more baskets.
Southwestern Louisiana, with Guard Al-ford Turner scoring 26 points, won the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage by beating Marquette 81-64. The Ragin' Cajuns led at halftime 35-33 and outscored the Warriors 12-0 during the first seven minutes and 15 seconds after intermission.
Turner scored 23 points as Southwestern Louisiana stunned Georgetown 70-61 in the first round and then added 18 more during a 72-59 defeat of Washington State. Marquette advanced by disposing of McNeese (La.) State 88-57 and Iona 67-54 behind a total of 38 points by Guard Michael Wilson. Iona won its opener by slipping past Ohio State 58-57 and took third place by stopping Washington State 71-58. Pat Ewing, Georgetown's 7-foot freshman, had his troubles, but the very first time he got the ball in collegiate competition he stuffed it. Ewing had 36 points in three games. In the battle for fifth place, Ohio State got a 25-foot basket from Larry Huggins in the final four seconds to beat the Hoyas 47-46.
Fresno State was stifling on defense, as usual, while winning the Sun Met Classic on its home court. Also as usual, the game was played before a sellout crowd of 6,530. The tournament MVP, Fresno State Forward Rod Higgins, got only 13 points in a 68-48 opening-round victory over Oklahoma City. But Higgins was outasight in the 64-52 finale against Nevada-Reno, pouring in a total of 29 points and putting the game out of reach in the closing minutes with three resounding dunks.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KEITH EDMONSON: Purdue's 6'5" senior guard, a forward last season, made the move pay off with 36 points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal as the Boilermakers whipped Tennessee 82-68.
SI TOP 20
1. N. CAROLINA (1-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (0-0)
3. KENTUCKY (1-0)
4. IOWA (1-0)
5. WICHITA STATE (1-0)
6. SAN FRANCISCO (1-0)
7. TULSA (1-0)
8. VIRGINIA (3-0)
9. UCLA (1-1)
10. KANSAS STATE (1-0)
11. DePAUL (0-0)
12. MINNESOTA (0-0)
13. ARKANSAS (1-0)
14. ALABAMA-BIRM. (2-0)
15. BYU (2-1)
16. GEORGIA (0-1)
17. INDIANA (1-0)
18. ALABAMA (1-0)
19. VILLANOVA (1-0)
20. NEVADA-LAS VEGAS (2-0)